First published in 1866 as “A Berkshire Village: its history and antiquities”, this little collection of memories and true tales from the Vale of the White Horse has charmed generations of readers. At a time of rapid change in the English countryside the author, Stanford-in-the-Vale curate Reverend Lewin G. Maine, sought to record for posterity local people’s recollections of a lost way of life. Now, exactly 150 years later, Reverend Maine’s work has been given an extra lease of life in this new edition edited by local historian Julie Ann Godson. With more than 20 delightful period illustrations, the book takes the reader from the most obscure period of British history through to the final days of a truly rural existence before the Great Western Railway thundered into this quiet corner of England.
Memories of the Vale by Reverend Lewin G. Maine, edited by Julie Ann Godson (ISBN 978-1523690862), is available on Amazon for £8.99.
First published in 1859, this enchanting novella is author Thomas Hughes’ way of recording the very last “Pastime”, the age-old festival accompanying the 1857 ceremony of Scouring the Uffington White Horse. The central family is fictional but all the local characters are genuine and their stories remarkably accurate. As well as giving a full account of the history and sports of the Pastime, Hughes also records a lost way of country life when cows were milked by hand, cheeses made on the farm, and the journey to market was by pony and trap. Includes a special section for family history researchers and local historians.
The Scouring of the White Horse by Thomas Hughes, edited by Julie Ann Godson (ISBN 978-1786976994), is available on Amazon for £9.99.